A Few Things

March 7, 2014

colorful bunting

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! How are you doing? Was it a good week for you? At our house it was one of our family’s birthday weeks — Maude’s birthday was on Tuesday, and Ben Blair’s birthday is today! This evening, we are celebrating by taking a foodie tour of The Mission district in the city. Should be really fun! My gift to Ben: taking care of the school prep routines this morning so that he could sleep in. : ) On Saturday, we’ll be running errands and hopefully making some progress in the long-stalled boy’s room renovation. How about you? Any weekend plans?

Friends, I want to tell you how impactful your comments on my Mental Health Update were. Each one was a reminder of how kind and supportive and smart and compassionate the members of this community are. For those of you in the middle of your own struggles (isn’t that everybody?), know that I’m thinking of you and wishing you health and peace. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words.

On a much lighter note, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

- Bono’s rejection letter. Via Jesse.

- Woah. This new speed reading technology kind of blows my mind.

- Hey there musical lovers, here’s a trailer for a modern re-telling of Annie.

- A loonng article about the history of cool girls. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

- This memorial in Norway — I can’t stop thinking about it.

- A shared room for two little sisters.

- I’m floored by this article about fraternities. My university didn’t have fraternities so I’m unfamiliar with them. I confess, they’ve held a vague romantic mystery for me over the years, but now I’m quite disturbed. It’s a long article — you might want to bookmark it for later.

- I’m starting to think about sandals. I want something really simple like this — preferably picked up on a trip to Spain. : ) These are great too.

- Did you see this British Kevin Bacon ad?

- Oscar-winner Lupita Nuyong’o gave an incredible speech on beauty. Thanks Shannon.

- This looks cool: turn anything into a sippy cup.

- My Babble posts this week: St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids — 7 cute ideas! Plus, 11 really good recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

- Oh. And one more — simple ideas for celebrating Spring Equinox. (Can you believe Spring is really coming? Winter hit the U.S. hard this year.)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 {plum} March 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

Do pennant flags and bentwood chairs make everyone else as happy as me?

here’s to happiness {and sleeping in}!


2 Tracy Van Weelden March 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

I love your pennant flag banners. Did you make them or buy them. Hope you have a great birthday weekend!


3 Anna March 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Hi Design Mom!

Firstly, I wanted to chime in and add my gratitude and admiration for your frank, gentle and genuine testimony on mental health. It was beautiful and affirming thing to read. I have never met you, but your words reflect such a lovely person. Thank you for being you.

I also loved your spring celebration ideas. I wanted to ask if you’ve ever heard of the Persian New Year? It’s the biggest and grandest holiday in Iran, and parts of the world which have been influenced by the Persian culture. :) AND, it’s exactly on the spring equinox! Your ideas for celebrating were amazingly spot on to what actually happens during ‘Aide Nowruz’! :) (The traditions, originally from the Zoroastrian religion, date back some 3000 years.)


Much love from England! xxx


4 Shelly March 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

That speed-reading link is insanely awesome! Thanks for sharing.


5 Sarah March 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Wow. I just read that fraternity article start to finish. While it took an hour, it was by far the BEST article I have read in a while. Coming from a private college that chooses to remain “unaffiliated” with the Greek system (though there were 4 sororities/frats when I was there and 8 now), I couldn’t possibly be more proud and understanding of my university’s decision. And wow, what a mess.


6 jessicaw March 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Cool zippy cup invention! Here’s another incredible new kids product to check out: http://igg.me/at/makarakids. Modern, stylish, & playful, full-coverage swimwear for infants and children. Indiegogo campaign happening right now!


7 Katie Harding March 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm

How about the new speed reading technology? Why couldn’t that have been around 15 years ago?!


8 Amy3 March 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I just finished the Cool Girls article. It’s definitely interesting and has me thinking, but mostly about how, despite how far women have come, we have a long way to go. The article felt steeped in schadenfreude – that feeling of vaguely guilty glee when someone we admire is brought down. The fact that women are boxed into these narrow archetypes, especially if they’re successful (or maybe even to become successful) says all kinds of sad things about how we value the contributions of girls and women.


9 Shannon March 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

You’re welcome, Gabby! I thought of you and your readers after the conversation on race last week. Thank you for diving in where others fear to go. I still have so much to learn and don’t ever want to let me daughter down, so I truly appreciate all the ideas and insights that came out of the discussion.

Happy birthday to Maude and Ben Blair, and happy eating!!


10 Christy@SweetandSavoring March 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Have a good weekend, Gabrielle! Your mental health post really brightened up my week in a way. Reading your story was like a hammer chipping away a little bit more of a sculpture called ‘I’m Alone, I’m Alone, I’m Alone’, and each time someone else opened up about their depression, that sculpture (in my head?) gets smaller and smaller.
I love the Spring Equinox ideas, and have been toying with the idea of hosting a party. Thanks for the tips!
Have a great weekend. I’m going to the Women’s Travel Fest in Manhattan tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited!


11 julia-tagandtibby March 8, 2014 at 7:06 am

I skimmed the article and found it interesting. I was a sorority sister and an unofficial little sister at a fraternity. There are a wide range of frats with a wide range of reputations. With that said I would not recommend my son to be a part of one. And for my daughter it would really depend on the school. And the maturity and personality of my kids (are they leaders, or do they want to blend in?) So glad you are feeling better!! xo


12 Laura March 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Hi, Gabrielle -

I went to that fraternity article, meaning to bookmark it, as you suggested, but I got drawn in. Just spent an hour or so reading it, and thinking about the contents. Did it shift your perspective on where you want your kids to go to college?

Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion. The images in the article will stay with me for a long time, for better and worse.



13 Zoe - SlowMama March 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm

That memorial in Norway blows me away. And I loved Lupita Nyong’o’ speech on beauty — so great.

I also want to say that I, too, was moved by your mental health update post. I know you helped a lot of people by sharing it.


14 cath March 9, 2014 at 3:00 am

I remember that quote from Gone Girl, about the cool girl; so well put and in a way, so sad!
Basically the cool girl is … a guy dressed up as a girl.
Like all of us, I’ve known cool girls and I’ve always thought they were trying too hard not to try too hard, there was always something deeply fake about that “cool attitude” and a desire to stand out by being “like” and “with” the boys.
One cool girl that I really like though, is Jane Birkin; and to some extent her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg. Somehow, they’re doing it right!( It’s that extra British touch that changes everything I think)


15 Courtney Blair March 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Hi Gabrielle,
Just found your blog after I googled “oil pulling” (been trying it and wasn’t sure I was doing it right!). Then I realized you were the same as the “Olive Us” family that my daughter and I enjoy so much (we met you at Round Table pizza last year when we recognized your kids). Obviously, we have much in common :)! I really like your posts and admire your frank writing about your mental health. As a working mom in her mid 40′s, I sometimes feel like everyone else is handling things better or has an easier time with life, your post was honest and real. I’m looking forward to reading more and following your blog.
Thank you,
Courtney Blair


16 Melissa Camara Wilkins March 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I want to read everything with that speed reading app! How amazing would that be, to be able to zip through things like classics that we somehow never got around to reading? I can’t wait!


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